Academy Award-winning actor Will Smith made headlines at this year’s Oscars ceremony when he rushed the stage and slapped host Chris Rock.
While Smith was not arrested and was even allowed to accept an award, The Hill has reported that authorities were prepared to act.
According to the website, show producer Will Packer told “Good Morning America” on Friday that officers with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spoke with Rock about taking Smith into custody.
Police to Rock: “We can arrest him”
“They said we will go get him; we are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him,” Packer said.
“They were laying out the options, and as they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He was like, ‘No, no, no.’”
The violence unfolded after Rock remarked on hair loss experienced by Smith’s wife, Jada Smith. Rock joked that she could appear in a sequel to the 1997 Demi Moore film “GI Jane.”
In response, Smith went up and struck Rock in the face. He then went on to yell profanities at the host upon returning to his seat.
Smith remained in the building after attacking Rock and subsequently apologized for his behavior. The Hill noted that there have been conflicting reports regarding whether he was told to leave.
Academy will meet later this month to discuss Smith’s actions
A Deadline article states that Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson suggested to a representative for Smith that he should depart.
One unnamed source said the request was “firm ask” rather than a suggestion, while another anonymous figure claimed that Packer asked Smith to stay.
The Hill also stated that Smith’s actions have triggered a review by the Academy, which is set to hold a meeting on April 18 regarding how to respond.
The organization has issued a statement announcing that it “may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”